Actress Gabriela Lopez & The Pitfalls Of Dating For Millennials In THE BROWSING EFFECT - Film Inquiry (2024)

Gabriela Lopez attended Auburn University for a year studying theater, signed with an agent in Atlanta and continued her training in acting classes and workshops. Within a year she was cast in the ABC Family movie, Teen Spirit. Two weeks after shooting the film, she moved to Los Angeles. Since she can be seen in UPtv movie Coffee Shop alongside Laura Vandervoort, Disney’s Million Dollar Arm and plays Chloe Grace Moretz’s best friend in The 5th Wave.

In her latest movie, The Browsing Effect, she plays a character named Gabriela, who begins dating a young Jewish millennial in Los Angeles. The Browsing Effect deals comically with the dating travails of an attractive group of diverse millennials, and it isn’t always a pretty picture. Is dating really this hard for millennials?

Is dating really this rough on millennials?

Lopez chuckles at this. “Honestly, yeah. I actually haven’t been on any online dating app myself but I have been out in the world dating and it is rough. It is actually that rough. Yes, I think it is an accurate representation of what it is like for millennials.”

Why does she think that is?

“Possibly our generation is just really self-focused,” she suggests. “I think part of that is true for millennials, it’s all about accomplishing certain things and investing time in yourself, and there is a selfish aspect to it. But you know, I’m mind boggled by it, I can’t really figure it out. In LA it’s a little bit different. In LA everybody is so afraid of rejection that it’s something that kind of happens as a byproduct of all of the rejection that you get in LA. It kind of follows over into dating as well.”

Actress Gabriela Lopez & The Pitfalls Of Dating For Millennials In THE BROWSING EFFECT - Film Inquiry (1)

Her character in The Browsing Effect is, if anything, one of the better adjusted characters in the movie.

“Thank you” she says. “I appreciate that. I feel like I’d like to give her a whole journey of where she’s started, where’s she’s going and how that affected her, how she sees the world and I wanted to make her as relatable as possible that people maybe see the film and say, oh yeah, I’m like her.”

It seems that a lot of the problems the characters in The Browsing Effect are having is simply that they didn’t seem to communicate very well with each other. Does the actress see it the same way?

“They are just terrible at communicating.”

“I think that part of the comedy is that they are just terrible at communicating. Like this whole group of friends, they are not really getting the message across, not really telling everybody that this is what’s happening, and then they are talking behind each other’s back and that kind of adds to the comedy of that circle of friends. It’s interesting, as my character being like an outsider of that specific group of friends, her style is just different than the main group of friends that this film is about.”

There is also one sub-plot running around in the movie that could have turned the whole thing into The Silence of the Lambs, with the so-called Tinder-napper.

She answers: “Right, that was so scary. I remember – there were some other scenes in the film that ended up getting cut that were intense, and really funny creepy, at the same time, and we were like ‘Whoa, this could have had its own movie attached to that.’”

How do Lopez get lined up with this project?

She says: “My agent got me the audition for it, and immediately when I saw the breakdown of Gabriela, which is the same way I spell it, and that she was Peruvian-American and I am Peruvian American, I was like ‘This is weird,’ and when I met Michael I was like, ‘Did you stalk me for a while, do you know me? Have we met before, this is just too weird.’ He said, ‘No I think it’s just meant to be,’ and I think it was definitely because working with everybody was just a dream because they are just all so collaborative and creative.”

There is a sense of spontaneity in some scenes in The Browsing Effect that invites the question was some of this dialogue improvised.

Scripted dialogue that plays like it was improvised

“You know what, I think this was actually like a testament to Michael’s writing because we were pretty much following the dialogue, spot on,” she says. “I know some of the scenes were maybe a little improvised, but most of my scenes were word-for-word what was in the script. I think his writing just kind of makes it feel so real that it almost seemed like improv because it just had that natural dialogue vibe to it.”

About how long did it take to make the whole movie?

Actress Gabriela Lopez & The Pitfalls Of Dating For Millennials In THE BROWSING EFFECT - Film Inquiry (2)

“I think we ended up shooting four weeks. I know I was on for about 3 weeks of it. It’s hard to get back into all of that now but I think it was about three to four weeks we were filming. I was on and off, so it wasn’t like consistent three weeks, but throughout the film, like throughout while we were shooting, it was like about I think three weeks that I was working.”

There is a scene in the movie where Gabriela’s character, who is indeed named Gabriela, brings her new boyfriend Ben (Josh Margolin) to her parents’ home for her birthday party. The scene would be familiar to anyone who’s had to meet a large family when first dating somebody, and many people wouldn’t know how to respond when somebody puts a heart on their lunch plate.

Warn your date before serving him hearts

This elicits laughter. “I know, I’ve actually been in the reverse situation with my boyfriend’s family, though about a week before filming started I was in almost Ben’s position, of meeting all of these people that I’ve never met before, although I didn’t have a heart put on my plate… I completely agree with you, I think I actually have some sympathy for him although my character was like, no this is my party, you are supposed to be here for me.”

But doesn’t she think that if you have any clue that someone is going to be serving hearts, you should give your date a heads-up?

More laughter. “Yeah, that’s true. But you know what, that’s actually my favorite food, cows heart. Anticuchos de Corazón. I don’t remember what it was in the script, but I was like, ‘Michael this scene has to have cows heart, anticuchos,’ and he was like, ‘You’re kidding me, that’s a real thing?, I said yes, ‘It’s a Peruvian dish, it’s my favorite dish.’ He was like, ‘Okay, you’re right, that’s way better, let’s put that in there.’ And they actually went to stores, got hearts and were able to use it, because I actually made my boyfriend try cow’s heart and my Aunt makes it, so it’s a real thing.”

How do you prepare cow heart?

“I actually don’t know how to make it,” she admits. “So I have recipes from my Aunt—my Aunt makes it the best. It’s honestly the rub that goes on it is what makes it so good. And if you don’t cook it right and then it’s too chewy, it starts to get freaky cuz you’re like—’I’m eating heart.’ It has to be sliced right and the rub has to be right to make good Anticuchos, I do know that.”

Actress Gabriela Lopez & The Pitfalls Of Dating For Millennials In THE BROWSING EFFECT - Film Inquiry (3)

This writer tells her that he’ll file that away and if she wants to send him her Aunt’s recipe—that he makes no promises—but he does try to be open minded about food. Is it true that Lopez is actually an Alabama girl at heart?

An Alabama girl at heart

“Yes, I am,” she says, a trace of pride in her voice. “So makes it a little interesting to be Peruvian and from Alabama, but yeah.”

And she started her acting studies in Alabama?

She did, though success came early. “At 18 I went to school in Auburn for about a semester, not very long, studying theater, and was driving to Atlanta for auditions and acting classes and that kind of stuff, and then booked my first film Teen Spirit kind of right off the bat.”

So fair to say that she hasn’t gone through that extended period of waiting tables while auditioning for a part?

“No, I haven’t but in between projects it can be challenging, you know I have done catering gigs and hostessing in LA, I’ve done it even after things have come out because it’s not always as lucrative as you would hope it to be,” she says.

What’s next for Gabriela Lopez?

Her voice is enthusiastic. “I have a film coming out this year called The Meridian Contact, it’s a short film, hopefully to be turned into a feature, that will be doing festivals. I’m really excited about it. I really liked the story, it’s interesting, it’s a story that needs to be told—I am just really excited about it. I am an acting coach as well, but I will be working alongside a production company here soon, so hopefully we will be starting to pump out projects and also be acting in this. So I am really excited about that. I am based out of LA for work, but actually I live in northern California now, and fly down to LA when needed. I am actually going to LA in a little bit.”

The Browsing Effect is currently available from Gravitas Ventures on iTunes and Amazon and On Demand.

Does content like this matter to you?

Become a Member and support film journalism. Unlock access to all of Film Inquiry`s great articles. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about cinema - get access to our private members Network, give back to independent filmmakers, and more.

Join now!

Actress Gabriela Lopez & The Pitfalls Of Dating For Millennials In THE BROWSING EFFECT - Film Inquiry (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Velia Krajcik

Last Updated:

Views: 5859

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (74 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Velia Krajcik

Birthday: 1996-07-27

Address: 520 Balistreri Mount, South Armand, OR 60528

Phone: +466880739437

Job: Future Retail Associate

Hobby: Polo, Scouting, Worldbuilding, Cosplaying, Photography, Rowing, Nordic skating

Introduction: My name is Velia Krajcik, I am a handsome, clean, lucky, gleaming, magnificent, proud, glorious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.